The Scarlet Pimpernel
by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
After a successful run on the stage, The Scarlet Pimpernel was published as a novel in 1905. There have been numerous versions for film and television, as well as a musical. The one to look for is the 1982 BBC version starring Anthony Andrews, Jane Seymour, and Ian McKellen, although the 1934 version with Leslie Howard, Merle Oberon, and Raymond Massey is also deservedly popular.
It’s September 1792. Upper-crust English society regards Sir Percival Blakeney, Baronet, as both its wealthiest scion of the aristocracy and its most foolish. Even his wife, Marguerite, hasn’t uncovered the role he plays as the dashing hero known as the Scarlet Pimpernel because he leaves a note for the Committee of Public Safety signed with that flower every time he snatches someone sentenced to die on the guillotine. His arch-enemy, Chauvelin, is determined to track down the Scarlet Pimpernel and convinced that he can persuade Marguerite to help him. She was once, after all, a supporter of the French Revolution—and anyway, Chauvelin holds her brother’s life in the palm of his hand. Will Marguerite find a way out of the trap before she destroys her marriage?
For an excerpt from my updated, dual-time version, The Not Exactly Scarlet Pimpernel, see Excerpts. And for a wonderful review of the book (with thanks to Kate Martyn, the reviewer), see “Trawling the Amazon.”
And to see images associated with these and my other books, click on the Pinterest icon below and follow my boards. There are two boards for this book: one that traces Nina and Ian’s journey and a second devoted to the original Scarlet Pimpernel.
Screen shot from The Scarlet Pimpernel, 1982 BBC version starring Anthony Andrews and Jane Seymour, here shown leaving Paris for a picnic.